VANCOUVER CANADA - JANUARY 20: Mason Raymond #21 of the Vancouver Canucks is stopped by goalie Antti Niemi #31 of the San Jose Sharks during the shootout in NHL action on January 20 2011 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver BC Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Canucks Vs. Sharks, In Progress: Canucks Hold Off Sharks In 5-4 Shootout Victory

The hottest team at the moment, San Jose, is hosting the conference leader Vancouver Canucks in a division leader showdown. Game time is 10:30 pm Eastern.

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Canucks Vs. Sharks: Canucks Hold Off Sharks With 5-4 Shootout Victory

If the Canucks and Sharks actually meet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, this game proves that the series is going to be very entertaining.

The Vancouver Canucks got out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period and were able to find a goal from Daniel Sedin to hold off the San Jose Sharks in a 4-3 victory on Thursday night. Alex Burrows got the scoring started for the Canucks at the 13:25 mark of the first period and Sami Salo score with a minute and a half left in the third period to give the Canucks a 2-0 lead after the first period. The Sharks scored quickly in the second with a Devin Setoguchi goal in the first minute of the period and a Ryan Clowe goal 1:07 later to tie the game at two. Mason Raymond scored at the five minute mark to give the Canucks a 3-2 lead which they held until late in the third period. 

Torry Mitchell scored his first goal in over two months to tie the game in the third period for the Sharks. Mitchell's goal was assisted by Kyle Wellwood and Ian White. Douglas Murray took an inadvertant high sticking penalty that really wasn't eleven seconds later which led to a Daniel Sedin goal on the ensuing powerplay. The Canucks were looking to cruise to a victory until Alex Burrows took a holding the stick penalty with 35 seconds left in the game. That led to Ryan Clowe's second goal of the night fourteen seconds later to tie the game at four. 

After a scoreless overtime, Joe Pavelski scores the only goal in the shootout to give the Canucks a 5-4 victory over the Sharks. 

Cory Schneider is the main reason why the Canucks were in this game at all. The Sharks were outshot 12-6 in the first period but turned their game around and outshot the Canucks 42-16 in the final two periods and overtime. Schneider ended up with 44 saves while San Jose's Antti Niemi ended the game with 24 saves. Both teams had seven powerplay chances with the Canucks converting twice while the Sharks converted only once. 

The Sharks will take on the New York Rangers on Saturday night while the Canucks will face the Calgary Flames. For more on this game, please visit our Sharks site, Fear The Fin, and our Canucks site, Nucks Misconduct.


Canucks Vs. Sharks: Mason Raymond Fends Off Shark Attack To Give Canucks 3-2 Lead In Second

The San Jose Sharks have at least made a game of this matchup between the Sharks and the Canucks with two goals within the first three minutes of the second period. Devin Setoguchi got the scoring started for the Sharks within the first minute of play in the second period. Ryan Clowe scored 1:07 later to tie the game up at two for the Sharks. Clowe's goal was assisted be Logan Couture and Ian White. The Canucks scored at the six minute mark of the second period to give themselves another one goal lead. The goal came from Mason Raymond and was assisted by Mikael Samuelsson and Ryan Kesler. 

The Sharks have overcome their lackluster first period against the Canucks by outshooting Vancouver 19-9 in the second period. The Sharks are now outshooting the Canucks 25-21 through forty minutes. Antti Niemi has 18 saves for the Sharks while Cory Schneider has 23 saves. 


Canucks Vs. Sharks: Burrows and Salo Give Sharks A 2-0 Lead After One

The Vancouver Canucks have scored first in each of their matchups this season against the San Jose Sharks. Alex Burrows and Sami Salo have given the Canucks a 2-0 lead in the first period. Burrows' goal came at the 13:25 mark of the first period with assists from each of the Sedin twins. Sami Salo's goal came roughly five minutes later on the power play with assists from Dan Hamhuis and Manny Malhotra.

Both goaltenders are playing well with San Jose's Antti Niemi making 10 saves in the game while Vancouver's Cory Schneider has seen less work with 6 saves. The Canucks have had two powerplay opportunities in the first period and already have cashed in on one of those opportunities. They also have seven shots on goal on the powerplay which accounts for the 12-6 difference in shots for the Canucks in the first period. 

The Canucks and Sharks have previously led to high scoring games this season with two of the three games having seven combined goals in each so expect more offense from both teams in this game. 


Canucks Vs. Sharks: Conference Leader Faces Off Against Hottest Team

The Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks each lead their respective divisions and face off in potential Stanley Cup Playoffs battle. The Canucks have won two of the three previous matchups this season, but the Sharks won the most recent one in Vancouver. 

The Sharks and Canucks have some of the best goaltenders in the league this season. The Canucks have had success with both Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider this season. Luongo has a 2.22 goals against average with a .925 save percentage this season and a 0.96 goals against average against the Sharks this season. Cory Schneider has a 2.14 goals against average and a .928 save percentage this season and will get the start tonight against the Sharks. San Jose has had success with Antti Niemi who is 1-2 against the Canucks this season. Our Sharks site, Fear The Fin, had this to say about goaltending in the Western Conference today:

The second reason goaltending serves some importance today is the fact that Nashville's Pekka Rinne has stymied the Sharks all season long, and without Patrick Marleau's goal in overtime last night, might as well done it again. Coupled with the fact that Vancouver, who boasts a tandem of Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider that, is on the docket tonight, it only makes sense to highlight some netminders in the Western Conference that have the potential to do what so many others have done in seasons past.

Carry their team to a playoff win without getting much help.

The Canucks have been on top of the Western Conference for much of the season but one player is much happier that he is playing for the Sharks this season. Kyle Wellwood played for two seasons for the Canucks before heading over to San Jose and had this to say about playing in San Jose:

"I just think Vancouver has a few more lessons to learn and I'm glad I'm in San Jose," Wellwood said. "I just feel they're more mature because they've lost a few more times. They're not so scared of losing."

This is also coming from a player who has only played in twenty games with the Sharks. Game time is 10:30 pm Eastern and for more information on this game, please visit our Sharks site, Fear The Fin, and our Canucks site, Nucks Misconduct.

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